top of page

The Problem

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disability globally, making the tobacco epidemic one of the biggest public health threats worldwide. Each year, tobacco kills over 8 million people globally. Of these, 1.2 million people die as a result of second-hand smoke exposure.

Tobacco is more than a health problem, it has devastating social, economic, and environmental consequences worldwide. It is therefore imperative to implement and enforce effective tobacco control measures outlined in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to reduce use of tobacco, exposure to tobacco smoke and the economic and healthcare burden.

“tobacco use threatens development in every country on every level and across many sectors — economic growth, health, education, poverty and the environment — with women and children bearing the brunt of the consequences.” Margaret Chan ex Director of the World Health Organisation

Substance Abuse Practitioner Certification.jpeg

Issues

The toll of Tobacco in South Africa

In South Africa, tobacco use is causing a serious health impact, in 2016, there were almost 26,000 smoking-attributable deaths for smokers aged 35-75 years.

The economic cost of Tobacco to South Africa

Tobacco-related illnesses cost the South African economy R42 billion (0.97% of the South African GDP in 2016). R28 billion of this cost is due to illness-caused productivity losses and the losses in potential earnings for those who died prematurely, while the remaining R14 billion is due to direct healthcare costs.

The government received about R12 billion in revenue from tobacco excise taxes in the same year, as such, the economy lost R3.43 for every R1 the government raised from tobacco tax.

Electronic Delivery Systems

Electronic Delivery Systems (also called e-cigarettes) are unregulated in South Africa. SA is experiencing an increase in the use of electronic delivery systems. In 2018, an estimated 1.09 million (2.71%) South African adults aged 16 years and above were using e-cigarettes.

A growing body of evidence indicates that using e-cigarettes can lead to health risks, introduce non-smoking youth to nicotine, renormalise smoking, and reverse decades of progress in tobacco control. Currently, e-cigarettes are currently unregulated in South Africa, and there is an urgent need to close this regulatory loophole to protect public health.

bottom of page